Roundaboutation n.: vague, noncommittal language. Closely akin to equivocation and circumlocution, but without the hifalutin' overtones.

Roundaboutation is an interesting word, in that while it is clearly archaic and was never in particularly common usage (at least not in written language), it is still around after 200 years of use. Granted, you see it most often in Regency romances, but you will still find it in blogs and news articles. I have been unable to find any particular source that keeps it in the public mind (did Jane Austen use it at some point?), but it regularly reappears.

The earliest use listed in the OED is in 1812, in Rejected Addresses, by James Smith and Horace Smith, although it is likely that it appeared earlier in spoken language. It continued to appear in books and magazines throughout the Victorian era... and right up to the present day. Despite this, I have not found it in any dictionary aside from the OED.

He meandered here, he meandered there,
For a good two hours, or, some say, three,
In the style of oration called roundaboutation,
Until his hearers they wos wearee.
-Punch, or the London Charivari, May 10, 1879, pg. 213.

Thanks to Oolong for providing access to the OED.
And thanks to General Wesc for confirming that 'roudaboutation' does not appear anywhere in the works of Jane Austen.

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